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INTRODUCTION TO FAITH- BASED ADVOCACY. The poor you will always have with you.

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Presentation on theme: "INTRODUCTION TO FAITH- BASED ADVOCACY. The poor you will always have with you."— Presentation transcript:

1 INTRODUCTION TO FAITH- BASED ADVOCACY

2 The poor you will always have with you.

3 Matthew 26:6-13 Now while Jesus was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very costly ointment, and she poured it on his head as he sat at the table. But when the disciples saw it, they were angry and said, ‘Why this waste? For this ointment could have been sold for a large sum, and the money given to the poor.’ But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, ‘Why do you trouble the woman? She has performed a good service for me. For you always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me. By pouring this ointment on my body she has prepared me for burial. Truly I tell you, wherever this good news is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in remembrance of her.’

4 Deuteronomy 15:11 “Since there will never cease to be some in need on the earth, I therefore command you, ‘Open your hand to the poor and needy neighbor in your land”

5 Martin Luther: Poverty, I say, is not to be recommended, chosen or taught; for there is enough of that by itself, as He says, “The poor you always have with you,” just as you will have all other evils. But constant care should be taken that, since these evils are always in evidence, they are always opposed.

6 Baptismal Foundations “Let all Christians regard their baptism as the daily garment they are to wear all the time…If we want to be Christians, we must practice the work that makes us Christians.” (Martin Luther, Large Catechism) “To proclaim the good news of God in Christ through word and deed, to serve all people, following the example of our Lord Jesus, and to strive for justice and peace in all the earth...” (LBW Rite for the Affirmation of Baptism)

7 From the ELCA Constitution This Church is to: Advocate for justice and dignity for all people, working for peace and reconciliation among the nations, and standing with the poor and powerless and committing itself to their needs Study social issues and trends in order to discover the causes of oppression and injustice, and develop ministry to further human dignity, justice and peace in the world.

8 This takes place through Coordinating theological study of social issues, developing social statements and messages ELCA World Hunger Implementing public policy advocacy – international, national and state – Lutheran World Federation, Washington Office, State Public Policy Offices

9 Social Statements First Statement is “Church in Society” 1991 Provides foundation for all social statements and messages Guides work of advocacy, justice and ethics in the ELCA Opens the door for respectful dialogue in denomination

10 Affirmations Church’s Responsibility in Society The God who justifies expects all people to do justice through the divine activity of the Law. God preserves creation, orders society and promotes justice in a broken world. Church must participate in social structures critically. This church must unite realism and vision, wisdom and courage in its social responsibility. Church has an obligation to name and denounce idols, identify sin present in social structures and advocate in hope with poor and powerless people.

11 Affirmations Baptismal Vocation of all Christians The Spirit transforms for discipleship in daily life, Jesus frees Christians to serve others and walk with people who are hungry, forgotten, oppressed and despised. Christians exercise vocation by being wise and active citizens

12 Affirmations Community of Moral Deliberation Christians often disagree passionately on responses to social questions because we share a common faith, we are freed and obligated to deliberate together respectful dialogue is critical in our discernment of what is the will of God

13 Commitments Sustaining Vocation Foster a faith that is active in love, a love that seeks justice, and an insight that strives to discern what is right, good and fitting; Support its members in their callings to love their neighbor, to mend the creation, to advocate justice and mercy in situations of brokenness, and to seek peace where there is conflict;

14 Commitments Witnessing as an Institution Develop social statements …that will guide the life of this church and inform the conscience of its members in the spirit of Christian liberty Speak out on timely, urgent issues Work with and on behalf of the poor, powerless, those who suffer, using its power and influence with political and economic decision-making bodies to develop and advocate policies that seek to advance justice, peace and the care of creation Expect bishops, pastors, lay church leaders to pray for and to exhort those in positions of authority on the basis of God’s prophetic word

15 Commitments Deliberating on Social Questions Be a community where open, passionate, and respectful deliberation on challenging and controversial issues of contemporary society is expected and encouraged – moral deliberation Draw on the resources of faith – Scripture, church history, theology, knowledge and personal experience - and reason to learn and discern how to respond to contemporary challenges Engage those of diverse perspectives, classes, genders, ages, race and cultures in the deliberation process so that each of our limited horizons might be expanded and the witness of the body of Christ in the world be enhanced

16 In a nutshell “In faithfulness to its calling, this church is committed to defend human dignity, to stand with the poor and powerless, to advocate justice, to work for peace, and to care for the earth in the processes and structures of contemporary society.”

17 Social Statements Social statements are social policy documents, adopted by the ELCA Churchwide Assembly, addressing significant social issues.

18 Abortion 1991 Church in Society 1991 Death Penalty 1991 Environment 1993 Race, Ethnicity and Culture 1993 Peace1995 Economic Life1999 Health and Healthcare 2003 Education2007 Human Sexuality2009 Underway – Genetics and Bioethics, Criminal Justice, Justice for Women

19 Messages Brief communications that draw attention to a social issue and encourage action on it Adopted by the ELCA Church Council Intended to further discussion (not result of widespread deliberation) Build on previously adopted social statements and social policy resolutions

20 MESSAGES Aids1988 Israel/Palestinian conflict1989 Changing Europe1990 Homelessness1990 End of Life Decisions1992 Community Violence1994 Sexuality1996 Immigration1998 Suicide Prevention1999 Commercial Sexual Exploitation2001 Terrorism2004 Underway – Disabilities

21 Social Policy Resolutions Actions, other than social statements, of the Churchwide Assembly or Church Council on matters of social concern: Refugees Separation Wall in Palestine National School Violence Campaign Landmines Fair Labor Practices

22 Advocacy Ministry in the ELCA ELCA Washington Office State Public Policy Offices, LAMPa is one of 10 Lutheran Office of World Community

23 State office work is directed to hunger-related causes such as food and nutrition, shelter and affordable housing, environmental stewardship and justice, employment and income, and access to preventative and primary health care. ArizonaCaliforniaColorado IllinoisMichiganMinnesota NebraskaNevadaNew Jersey New MexicoOregon Pennsylvania Virginia WashingtonWisconsin

24 LAMPa’s Mission Advocates on behalf of, and in partnership with, those persons who are denied justice, dignity, reconciliation, peace, and access to basic human rights, and who lack adequate representation and voice in the arenas of public policy Provides an advocacy voice for the ELCA, synods, congregations, social ministry organizations and ministries with government policymakers

25 LAMPa’s Mission Equipping Pennsylvania Lutherans to be advocates by Leading discussion forums on current social issues and public policy to help Lutherans understand the connections between faith and daily life and the call to be a public church Providing training and resources for Lutherans live their baptisms and grow in faith through advocacy for justice

26 Advocacy Agenda for Hunger/Poverty State-wide poverty study Funding for the State Food Purchase Program -

27 LAMPa is a partnership ministry among Lutherans in PA 7 Synods 18 Social Ministry Organizations 2 Seminaries 4 Colleges Campus Ministries Outdoor Ministries Pennsylvania Lutheran Network

28 LAMPa ELCA partnerships ELCA World Hunger Congregational and Synodical Mission Unit Washington Office Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service Lutheran Services in America State Public Policy Offices

29 Advocacy Agenda for Health Care preserving the adultBasic health insurance program for low income adults or identifying an acceptable alternative to cover 42,000 people

30 Advocacy Agenda for Care for Creation Clean Energy/Green Jobs Bill Natural Gas Drilling in the Marcellus Shale

31 Advocacy Agenda for Immigration Collaboration with Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service on immigration-related legislation

32 Coalition Work Interfaith Justice Coalition Coalition for Low-Income Pennsylvanians Pennsylvania Health Access Network Hunger Fighters Coalition – Pennsylvania Works! School Funding Campaign Better Choices for Pennsylvania Budget Coalition

33 Communications ACTIONET (statewide E-Advocacy Network) ACTIONET (statewide E-Advocacy Network) Website: - up to date Issue Briefs and Action Alerts - up to date Issue Briefs and Action Alerts * * monthly e-newsletter LAMPa Highlights ELCA E-Advocacy f ELCA E-Advocacy from the ELCA Washington Office Facebook Page Interesting facts, figures, articles, quotes, & more!

34 LAMPa Tactics ACTIONET Lutheran Day at the Capitol (Spring) LAMPa Ambassadors Staff presentations and trainings at your site Arrange briefings and legislative visits in Harrisburg Produce educational resources Advocacy and coalition work by staff

35 LAMPa Staff Director – Amy Reumann Advocacy Developer – Marissa Krey Field Education Students from Gettysburg and Philadelphia Seminaries, Messiah College Master’s in Public Leadership degree field education site Hundreds of engaged Lutheran advocates around the state, working on local and state-wide issues – including YOU


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